U14s well beaten by Bury
By Christopher Barraclough
A solid performance despite the score line.
After good wins at home to Fleetwood and Garstang, Clitheroe U14s welcomed Bury to Littlemoor on a cloudless but chilly Mothering Sunday.
We were well beaten. But truth be told, the lads played as solidly and well as in previous matches, but this game again showed the teams biggest development area; stopping the quick runner!
Bury's secret weapon was a very, very quick full back, who the Clitheroe boys simply couldn't stop or catch. We need to deal with this much better and this is something we will work on over summer, during touch rugby sessions. Yes, the boys need to be fitter and stronger, but they also need to be a little more spacially aware - if they get the wider areas of their defensive line set quickly, and make their tackles first time, they can counter the big runner.
Ironically, it is tribute to how solid our defence was around the breakdown, that Bury were made to move the ball wider out - unfortunately, this was straight into the hands of Mr Whippet! Nepotism aside, I should mention Barraclough at this point, who defensive work from No10 was great today - he continually tracked back, throughout the match and made endless big tackles against the Bury forwards.
With ball in hand, the boys had an okay day. Rucking was better in the second half and we managed good ball retention without really breaking through. Worthy is to be commended for trying a little trickery, but we need to get the boys converting good creativity in training onto the match pitch, if we are to create more try scoring chances against better defences. A fist pump for Downham, for quick thinking at a penalty in the second half, to sneak through before the Bury defence was set - this is becoming a Clitheroe hallmark, and something few of the teams we have played seem to have cottoned on to. Well done Jack.
Despite the heavy deficit, I genuinely think that this was a good performance from the whole team, with great aggression, attitude and perseverance. We just need to work on wider defence and creative attack. Oh - and maybe find some magic, flying boots from somewhere!!
Onwards and upwards - training as usual, Wednesday 6.30 before s short trip across the border to Skipton next Sunday.